Hi - From a New Member

C1955J
C1955J Member Posts: 20
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:06 in Living with arthritis

A little about my condition: I'm 65 and up until June 2020 had an enjoyable and fast paced active lifestyle. I had two part time jobs and cared for my mother for several hours each evening. My mother has had hip replacements due to osteoarthritis and I recognised the early signs in myself and perhaps naively in June 2020 went to my GP in the hope of being placed on a list for surgery before it became too debilitating. Unfortunately I wasn't given an official diagnosis until February 2021 where my X-Ray showed severe osteoarthritis in my right hip, virtually bone on bone. The Consultant immediately put me on the waiting list for a total hip replacement. I am unable to take the anti-inflammatory medication Naproxen due to sensitivity and am prescribed Co-codamol tablets to help with the pain. It was recommended by the physiotherapist that I have a cortisone injection for pain relief but unfortunately I was denied it. The Physiotherapy department have signed me off as they can do no more for me now.....except for me to continue with the exercises previously given.

The Covid situation hasn't helped of course and I really do appreciate that this is a trying time for everyone.

Nevertheless, although I have up days and down.....I'm feeling sad and despondent. I no longer recognise myself. I live on my own in a house with 28 stairs. My mother is now in a Care Home as I am unable to look after her. I am unable to work, therefore suffering financially. I can barely walk any distance, even with a walking aid and am only out of pain when asleep. My social life is much depleted as I rarely leave the house and unsurprisingly my once partner has run for the hills, unable to deal with my disability, albeit temporary.

I know there are many people much worse off than myself, and on reading some of the posts on here am amazed and truly humbled at their strength of character and marvel at their coping mechanisms.

Comments

  • Sharon_K
    Sharon_K Member Posts: 460

    Hi @C1955J

    thank you for sharing a little bit about your condition, I can understand your feeling of sadness and despondency, not being able to work and rarely leaving the house must be extremely difficult. It may well be worth contacting your GP again now with a view to trying the cortisone injections as more GPs are doing face to face consultations now. It would also be worth discussing other pain relief that might work for you.

    We have a great page that gives you more details on the day to day living with osteoarthritis of the hip here

    You will see from this page that feeling low is quite common we have some guidance on this for you, just take your time, you have been through so much

    Lastly I just wanted to mention that exercise can be really tough especially when you are in so much pain so some of these short videos by Leon might be useful for you.

    Lastly and most importantly we have lots of members here who will understand what you are going through and will be able to share their experience. Please join in any discussions that you are interested in.

    Best Wishes

    Sharon

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    Hi @C1955J , and welcome to this lovely supportive forum. I'm sorry to hear you're having such a tough time. I can relate to this, I was diagnosed with OA in my hip, needing full replacement (now done) in March 2020. It's really hard when you're in constant pain and your life starts shrinking. It's debilitating, and sadly depression and arthritis often go hand in hand. I went through similar, my work life and income halving, my social life and all exercise disappearing, and unrelenting pain. It's ghastly, and it's completely ok to feel rubbish about it.

    This is a really helpful link on pain management. You need more in your armoury than drugs.

    A few things I learnt from people on this site that were really helpful included distraction, ie doing something to take your focus away from the pain. I know it's hard when you have to give things up, but another trick is to always replace one activity you can no longer do with something else you enjoy, which can take you down some surprising new avenues, and to focus on the things you can still do rather than those you can't. Gardening worked for me (oddly, as it could really hurt sometimes, but I was so busy focussing on and enjoying what I was doing I didn't notice), as well as tapestry, reading and a good few box sets!

    Also, be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to rest. Walking around with a dodgy hip and dealing with pain is exhausting, as is depression. If you've got a busy day coming up, schedule in some rest time to let the inflammation in your hip recover. I'm sorry you can't care for your mum in the way you would want, but you've done the next best thing - she is now with people who can meet her needs. It's not your fault you got arthritis. But it's here and it's ok to find ways to adapt your life around it until you can get it treated.

    Some people aren't suitable for steroid injection if the hip is already bone on bone. A friend was told the same. My surgeon decided to give it a go but for me it was a complete waste of time, as I had no cartilage left and I wish he hadn't bothered. Others do get relief, but it's not guaranteed. There is also a limit to what physios can do, although writing you off is a bit harsh - they could give you exercises and review them as your condition develops. Go to a private physio if you can afford it - it's not horrifically expensive and at least you can ask questions and have a review whenever you feel you need one. Hopefully you will find some of the exercises Sharon suggests helpful. The Let's Move with Leon sessions are fun, and can be as gentle as you need them to be, but it helps to keep your body from totally tensing up with the pain, as that will make it worse.

    Keep posting on here and asking questions, or just have a good old moan if you want, that's what this forum is for, and we all know awful how this feels. LM x

  • C1955J
    C1955J Member Posts: 20

    Hi. I just want to thank you for your support. I feel much better already. I will certainly look into the information provided.

    I just have a quick question for you Lilymary. As you have already had your hip replacement I just had a couple of questions. I know every individual is different but wondered: Did your walking return to how it was previously?......and how speedy was your recovery following your hip replacement?

    As far as I can remember I think my mother was back on her feet and out of hospital after three days.....and it wasn't long before she went off on a trip to Australia and New Zealand!

    I just can't wait to get my life back!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740
    edited 17. Aug 2021, 12:34

    Hi @C1955J , I'm really not a good person to ask that question of, as for reasons unknown even to my surgeon my recovery has been disappointingly slow and I am a long way off typical (he described me as "slow end of sverage" 🙄). I was discharged after 3 days once they were confident I was ok on crutches and they had pain/wound management under control.

    You are right, every individual is different, and it seems there's a big range. While I was 61 at the time of surgery and previously fit and active, I've had more post op pain and muscular issues than most, but both my surgeon and physio have said it will continue to improve, and they're right. I'm hopeful of being almost back to normal eventually. I was off crutches after 7 weeks, still walking with a stick at 4 months as my muscles went on strike which left me with a sideways lurch for a while. "It's uncommon, but it happens" was my surgeon's verdict. He's not worried about it, and it's improving a lot with physio. I just have a slight limp at the moment, but it will go. I was hoping for the six week recovery, but in my particular case it's going to be more like 6 months, and I've had to readjust people's expectations at work as well as my own.

    But I know of women who were horseriding after 7 weeks (!!!), and my physio told me of a man in his early 80s, a former mountaineer, who was complaining that after 8 weeks he could only walk 6 miles!

    It's great to have ambition, but let your body heal first, do your exercises, and let your body dictate the pace.

  • C1955J
    C1955J Member Posts: 20

    Hi again Lilymary.

    I'm sorry to hear that you are having a slower than average recovery.....but as long as you continue to improve and will eventually return to normal that's no bad thing.

    I had a good day yesterday, but today for whatever reason, the pain has been excruciating. I just start each day afresh...and hope for the best.

    Thank you for telling me about your experience and good luck with your recovery.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    Ah, the good day/bad day cycle! I know it well. Remember, when you're not in pain, your joint is still damaged, so you need to avoid overdoing it and causing inflammation that haunts you the day after. It's hard not to want to get bits of your life back when you feel able, but try to remember to cosset your creaky bits, even when they're being good.

    My slow recovery is disappointing, but it's no one's fault, it's just "one of those things" and I am seeing improvements all the time. This is very different to my state of mind pre-op, when I knew the pain and immobility was only going to get worse. Now, post op, things are on the up and I know it will continue getting better, so it's easier to deal with. Thanks for the kind words though. It helps. x

  • AnnR
    AnnR Member Posts: 52

    Hello C1955J, So sorry you’re having such a bad time but you’re in the right place here. I’m a new member too and have found everyone so kind and helpful. Try to give yourself some ‘me time’. Whatever gives you some pleasure to take you away from your down days. Take up a hobby you haven’t tried before but will occupy your mind and give you some relief. I know it’s difficult to do I’m at that stage too, so I know how you feel, but you’re not alone now. Everyone here will help. Hope you have a good day. Ann x

  • C1955J
    C1955J Member Posts: 20

    Hello AnnR....Thank you for your advice and kind words. It's much appreciated.

    I do have 'me time' hobbies....but unfortunately can't find time for them at present. I'm under pressure to sort out my mothers' affairs since she has gone into a Care Home and I have her house to clear, decorate and possibly put on the market....and all of it is time sensitive. My daughter and I have spent a couple of days painting which I actually found quite fulfilling.....although I am quite useless at carrying or moving anything (tins of paint, items of furniture etc).

    It's just so frustrating that everyday things take so long for me to do. I used to be jet propelled and I'm finding it hard to adjust.

    I have started to invite friends around more for coffee etc, as otherwise I feel my social life is shrinking away. I find things never seem quite so bad when you have people around you. There again I have to ask people to carry things for me.....and I used to be so independent.

    I actually miss working too....as both of my part time jobs were customer facing & involved interaction with people. Even more frustratingly I have been potentially offered a couple of jobs....but I can't take them up because of my condition. I would need to be physically fit to do them.

    I've got my PIP assessment tomorrow too. Let's see what that brings.

    Apologies for moaning......I know many people have it much worse.

    Let's hope tomorrow brings a good day for us all. Cx